Blog Tour: Crossing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux



Rating: 3.5 stars
Pub Date: August 3, 2014
Genre: new adult contemporary romance, sports
Format/Source: DRC, from the author
Status: Book 1 of the Ice series

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by Itching for Books. The full tour schedule can be found HERE. Please go give my fellow tour hosts some love!


Summary:
Falling hard never felt so good.

Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother and sister team.

The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though...

The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross?

Review:
As I think you guys know, I'm a huuuuuuge sports fan, and this year,I've been on a real ice skating book kick this year with Being Sloane Jacobs and Podium Finish so I was really excited to be part of this tour to keep that going. I feel like in ya and na, there are so many awkward, shy, wallflower heroines who hate physicial activity (and yet are miraculously thin) that it's nice to see novels that celebrate active characters who take care of their bodies. YAY for body positivity!

Definitely one of the pluses for Crossing the Ice is Jennifer's incredible knowledge of the skating world. As an avid watcher of sports, I know more than the average person about a lot of sports, but Jennifer took things to the next level by using technical but common skating language and merging it into the story relatively seamlessly. When describing practices and competitions, Jennifer provided enough imagery that I could envision the choreography without feeling like I was being slapped in the face with the pairs skating official rulebook.

I also enjoyed the getting-to-know you portion of the book between Courtney and Josh. I love the friends who become more trope, and I thought it was great to see these two go from longtime competitors to flirty friends to....well, you'll have to read the book to find out what happens, but it was delightful to read and watch them transition. At times, it was awkward, but as someone currently witnessing her roommate deal with this exact thing, awkward is, unfortunately, occasionally the truth of love.

I also really enjoyed the supporting characters. I loved Em, Sergei, Alex, and especially Quinn, who were not only coaches and adorable kids, but they were Courtney's surrogate family. I have a real soft spot for kids and toddlers so of course I was a fan of Quinn's scene stealing. Mark was fantastic, but I wish he'd been a little more present. At the beginning of Crossing the Ice, he seemed like a big part, but he diminished somewhat throughout the story and fell a little flatter as he simply became another obstacle for Courtney and Josh to overcome. Liza especially was a hit for me. Maybe some people might not agree with a 21 year old having a close friendship with a 15 year old, but I really enjoyed the dynamic between her and Courtney. Liza may be young, but she's really wise and provided the opportunity for Court to get her head out of her butt and go after what she wants!

I did have a couple issues with Crossing the Ice that prevented it from a higher rating. Although there's a certain amount of predictability in a contemporary romance, I was pretty disappointed when I had the entire romance figured out 2% into the book. I really wish Kyle were not part of the book whatsoever because he added nothing but contribute to my early disappointment. Likewise, I enjoyed most of the supporting characters with the exception of Stephanie who is utterly flat. There's no depth to her character whatsoever except being a shallow mean girl. I wish there had been something that made me sympathize with her at all. Finally, I did enjoy the cultural references, especially the music (the Pride & Prejudice score is one of my all-time favorites, and the song at the end of the movie when Elizabeth meets Darcy at sunrise is utter perfection!!!), but I worry that they will date the book a bit, especially with its oddly specific setting in 2009/2010. I think when creating a novel with a heavy emphasis on sports, it's best to be as general as possible. I am actually completely okay with making up an Olympics that didn't happen.

Overall, I did enjoy reading Crossing the Ice. I was sad when I had things figured out at page 5, but I'll give jennifer credit that I still wanted to finish the book. I feel there were enough surprises later on that helped me get over the initial I-just-figured-it-all-out feeling. I also appreciate the amount of realism in the book both in regards to the technicalities of ice skating and relationships. PLUS I just found out there will be more books in this series. I felt like the story wasn't quite complete. Even though I would have accepted Crossing the Ice, I am really interested to see where Jennifer can take these characters!

Excerpt:
I turned to Josh with my arms folded and my head cocked to the side. “So, you’re an athlete, a dancer and a musician? If you tell me you’re a skilled artist, I’m gonna have to hate you.”

He laughed. “I can barely draw a stick figure.”

“Whew.” I swiped my hand across my forehead.

“Even if I was the next Picasso, though, I wouldn’t have told you.” He paused and held my gaze. “I don’t like the idea of you hating me.”

My stomach fluttered. Josh didn’t often make extended eye contact, but whenever he locked those sinfully blue eyes on mine, I became a mesmerized puddle of swoon.

Book Buy Links:
   
(itunes, Smashwords, INT links, etc)

About the Author:

Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. 

Author Links:
  

Giveaway: 
$10 Amazon gift card (INT)
3 signed Crossing the Ice bookmarks (US)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the great review and for being part of the tour, Mary!

    ReplyDelete